National Reading Movement

Category Archive: Backstory

Charles Dickens: From Rags to Riches

Charles Dickens’ keen observation of character and society remains unforgettable. Despite being regarded as one of the best Victorian authors, his path to success was fraught with hardship. Curious to know where it all began for this iconic writer? Source:   Early Years Charles Dickens was born into a middle class family in 1812, […]

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Planet Funny: How Comedy Took Over Our Culture

Explaining a joke usually leads to deafening silence, groans and boos. As author of Charlotte’s Web, Elwyn Brooks White, puts it: “Humour can be dissected, as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process and the innards are discouraging to any but the pure scientific mind.” It’s clear to everyone that dissecting jokes […]

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The Beginnings of Kurt Vonnegut

Wars. Nuclear weapons. Free will. Suicide. Race relations. These are all emotionally charged and serious topics that Kurt Vonnegut didn’t shy away from. Instead, he addressed them in his novels head-on in a humorous and imaginative way. Source: “Perhaps, when we remember wars, we should take off our clothes and paint ourselves blue and […]

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The Origins of the Romance Novel

We know the story: boy meets girl, boy loses girl. And against all odds, the couple overcomes their adversities and lives happily ever after. We have read this narrative countless times, yet our appetite for romance novels remains strong. Have you ever wondered how it all began? Source:   What is a romance novel? […]

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Famous Stories That Almost Never Were

Many famous books are known for their realistic and inspiring plots. But have you ever wondered how they came to be? Are they pure unadulterated fiction or simply a case of art imitates life? We take a peek at three perennial favourites:   Stephen King – Carrie Today we celebrate the brilliant author of classic […]

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